Environmentally Friendly Methods to Use During Menstruation

From the Museum of Menstruation and Women's Health
I was getting ready for work the other morning and I grabbed a couple of OB's to stuff in my purse and I was struck by how small they are and how very little packaging they use. I had not thought about how the choices that I make regarding how I control my flow can impact the environment as well.

Growing up I used pads, which were big and bulky, but it was all I knew how to use. In college I tried to use tampons my junior year and then I was convinced I had toxic shock syndrom (which I highly doubt I had) and I did not try to use a tampon for another couple of years. Even then I just never could quite get on board with using them because they were so uncomfortable. Fast forward, oh, about fifteen years and a friend introduced me to Tampax Pearl Compak. Finally, I found something I could use without discomfort. Sheska introduced me to OB's and since they don't have an applicator they do take a little getting used to, but they are easy to use too. I should note that neither of these companies are paying me to endorse their product.

Tampon vs pad probably carries the same arguments as cloth diapers vs plastic or paper grocery bags vs plastic, but I can't help but think that the tampons do not take up nearly as much space in a landfill. I've also been intrigued by some of the more radical options available like the menstrual cup or sponge, but I just haven't been able to bring myself to use one. There are also washable cloth pads that are available. You can even find them on Etsy. Has anyone tried these?

I stumbled across the Museum of Menstruation and Women's Health and found myself lost in the history and mytholgy surrounding women's menstruation.I am very grateful that we no longer have to wear suspenders like they did in the late 1800's to hold a pad or a bag.

Image from the Museum of Menstruation and Women's Health

If you have tried any other methods for managing  your period please share in the comments. I'm interested in how they worked.


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